Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I’ve had this recipe for Italian cornmeal cookies, or zaletti, sitting around since last summer when I saw it on David Lebovitz’s site (www.davidlebovitz.com). In case you’re not familiar with David he is a former pastry chef who worked in the San Francisco area for many years, notably at Chez Panisse. David is now a food writer/bloggist living in Paris (my favorite city!).

Anyway something about zaletti appealed to me, but for various reasons I didn’t get around to making them at the time. Then the Introduction to Baking class started in August, and since I DO try to have a sense of balance about my diet, I haven’t been inclined to make sweets outside of those I’ve brought home from class each week.
For various reasons the baking class has yielded no take-home treats for the past few weeks, and I guess I'm getting into the habit of having baked goods around (I know that's bad). So last weekend I decided to finally make those cornmeal cookies. They’re exactly what I wanted: buttery, crispy, not-too-sweet cookies that go well with coffee or a cup of tea. My wife, whose heritage is at least half Italian, seems to really like them.

The rolled logs of dough, wrapped and waiting to be sliced into individual cookies.

I think of zaletti as “everyday” cookies: you can eat two or three every day and not feel like you’ve overindulged. Of course indulging is good too, but sometimes it’s nice to have a plainer cookie you can just sit and relax with, and zaletti do that for me.

Rather than fine cornmeal I used polenta, which gives the cookies a crumbly crunch and texture. For half the batch I used currants (which David’s recipe calls for), and
for the other half chopped dried cranberries. The currants seem to hold their own a bit better. FYI.

Since I essentially made David’s recipe verbatim, I offer the link below to the recipe at his site. Hope you enjoy.


1 comment:

  1. would you be willing to share your recipe for the crispy coconut cookies you mentioned?